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Ellie Webb (Taught Master's Degree, 2017-18)

I chose to do the Renaissance Centre MA following a BA in History, which I also did at Warwick. I felt at this stage that I wasn’t quite finished with studying; I wanted to do a MA that would give me the freedom to explore lots of different areas of interest to find out whether I might want to take them further to PhD level. I also wanted to just enjoy the process of learning and have fun with it. In both respects the MA lived up to my hopes. In the first Venice term, us MA students traversed the city having seminars in churches, at the Rialto, Palazzo Ducale, on the islands, and in so many more incredible places. Besides being a rare privilege to study in the city, the interdisciplinarity of the MA meant that we had all come from different academic backgrounds and so brought totally different perspectives to the discussion. As a consequence, our seminars often (voluntarily!) went on for far longer than intended. We also got on really well, so had fun experiencing Venetian life together after hours. You’ll leave Venice with more knowledge and research skills, but mostly with a special affection for the city and a perpetual longing to return.

Once back at Warwick in January, I took advantage of the opportunity to do a bespoke module based on my primary interests. After the range of topics we studied in Venice and the core module, it was nice to be able to focus and feel as though I was specialising in something, as well as broadening my general understanding. The whole experience confirmed that pursuing a PhD is in fact the right path for me and prepared me exceptionally well to do so. I am currently doing my PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, working on the vernacularisation of philosophy in sixteenth-century Italy, an area of study I first came to during my MA at Warwick.

UPenn profile: https://live-sas-www-history.pantheon.sas.upenn.edu/node/13165 

Contact email: elwebb@sas.upenn.edu 

Webb, Eleanor-new